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Frequently Asked Questions

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General Questions

New around here ? Start With the Basics

Are the publications free or sold at specific bookshops?

CGD has/does not sell its publications in any bookshop in the country. But, it distributes them free of charge equally.

One of the organizations objectives is to enhance knowledge and action to all the citizens regardless of his/her economic status. Therefore, this is achieved by distributing the publications at no cost to anyone.

How can one access publications of CGD?

The Centre produces reader-friendly publications; (in English & Kiswahili) on the governance and development issues.

 

CGD distributes them widely and equally nationally and especially in rural areas for informing people through workshops, meetings and any other event outside the established offices.

 

You can also access them through the CGD Website under the Download Centre section or get a copy at CGD offices.

To what extent has CGD assisted in strengthening the parliament as part of its programme?

The organisation provides the MPs with analyzed publications like Bills Digest that leads to rejection, withdrawal or redrafting and influences in the amendment of Parliamentary Bills in committee stage.

 

It also works closely with different parliamentary committees by empowering them to analyze legislations critically through meetings or in written.

What projects is CGD currently working on?

Mobilizing For Proper Resource Allocation and Utilization in the Agriculture Sector

The project aims at contributing to the promotion of the reforms in budget allocation and utilization in the agriculture sector.

National Taxpayers Association (NTA) initiative

Has a mission of supporting good governance in Kenya through effective citizen to government accountability, and citizen-to-citizen accountability; and envisioned in citizen-responsive government, delivering equitable, ethical, effective, and efficient public service to all Kenyans

Engendering the Provision of Agricultural and Livestock Extension Services in Kenya

Aims at contributing to the mainstreaming of gender in the agriculture sector; with a purpose of increasing gender sensitivity in the provision of agricultural and livestock extension services in Kenya.

The Coalition for Accountable Political Financing (CAPF) initiative

Visit the Website-www.capf.or.ke

Regional Integration Civil Society Network (RECINET)

This initiative monitors the status of NEPAD and promotes its advocacy-democratic governance in the East African Community; advocates and support the implementation of NEPAD’s African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM); and monitor the implementation of the protocols and treaty of the EAC especially in terms of their effectiveness and democratic content at both the national and sub-regional level.

Kenya Producers Coalition (KEPCO) initiative

1. The Sugar Campaign for Change (SUCAM) in the sugar industry

2. Ngombe na Mahindi (NGOMA) for the Maize/Dairy sub-sectors

3. Sauti ya Wafugaji (SAWA) for pastoralism

4. Matunda na Mboga (MAMBO) for horticulture

5. Fisher Folks Forum (FIFO) for the fishing industry

Enhancing Accountability in the Management of Devolved Funds through Citizen Participation and Oversight in Public Procurement

The goal of the project is to contribute to the promotion of accountable and transparent management of public resources in Kenya. Its purpose is to promote transparency and accountability in the procurement process of devolved funds.

What are the key pieces of environmental legislation and the regulatory authorities?

The Constitution of Kenya 2010 is the all-encompassing statute. The Constitution of Kenya provides for obligations meant to ensure sustainable management of natural resources and the environment, which lie against both the State and individual persons. The Constitution also recognizes the right of every person to a clean and healthy environment.

The Environmental Management and Coordination Act (EMCA), 1999, is the framework law on environmental management and conservation. The Act provides for environmental protection through; Environmental impact assessment; Environmental audit and monitoring.

Key environmental regulatory authorities include the:

  • Ministry of Environment and Forestry.
  • National Environment Management Authority
  • National Environment Complaints Committee
  • Kenya Wildlife Service
  • Kenya Forest Service
  • Kenya Forest Research Institute
  • Kenya Fisheries Service
  • Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute
  • Water Resource Authority
  • Kenya Water Towers Agency

 

All spheres of government and all organs of state must co-operate, consult and support one another on matters involving or affecting the environment.

To what extent are environmental requirements enforced by regulators?

The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) is a government regulatory body formed by an act of parliament, The Environmental Management and Coordination Act (CAP 387); its mandate is to supervise and coordinate all environmental matters within the country. It is also the principal agency that implements environmental policies on behalf of the government. Within the devolved system of government NEMA is operating both at national and county level; despite the latter, environmental standards remain poor throughout the country.

Is there an integrated permitting system or are there separate environmental systems for different types of emissions? Can companies apply for a single environmental permit for all activities on a site or do they have to apply for separate permits?

Kenya does not have an integrated permitting system. The umbrella legislation governing pollution and environmental concerns is the Environmental Management and Coordination Act 1999 and companies must obtain environmental authorizations for listed activities. However, if a particular activity triggers provisions of other legislation, for example in relation to water or air pollution, then separate licenses are required.

Single/separate permits, licenses and authorizations are required before undertaking a specific activity

NEMA issues a wide range of environmental licenses and permits under various environmental regulations.
These include licenses on:

  • Environmental Impacts Assessment (EIA).
  • Effluent discharge
  • Waste Management, transporters, incinerators and recyclers
  • Import export for controlled substances

Permits for:

  • Access genetic resources
  • trans boundary movement of waste
  • Sand harvesting sale and transportation    

Other licenses and permit include:

  • A Water Use License under the Water Resource Authority (WRA).
  • An Environmental Authorization for listed activities under NEMA.
  • A Waste Management License under the Environmental Management and Coordination (Waste Management) Regulations, 2006.
  • An Atmospheric Emission License under the Environmental Management and Coordination (Air Quality) Regulations, 2014.
  • A Biodiversity Permit under the Environmental Management and Coordination (Conservation of Biological Diversity and Resources, and Access to Genetic Resources and Benefits Sharing) Regulations, 2006.

Permissions under the Wildlife Conservation and Management (Activities in Protected Areas) Regulations, 2015.

What is the regulatory system for water pollution?

The government has a custodial position over the use, management, distribution and quality of Kenya’s water. The National Water Act 2016 is the principal legislation. The Ministry of Water and Sanitation (MWS) is the key institution responsible for the water sector in Kenya. The Water Resources Authority (WRA) is a state corporation established under Section 11 of the Water Act, 2016. It is mandated through delegated Authority on behalf of the National government to safeguard the right to clean water by ensuring that there is proper regulation of the management and use of water resources, in order to ensure sufficient water for everyone now and in the future. 

Water use license is issued by the Water Resource Authority. Water Act 2016 contains the water uses that require a water use license. A water use license is required for:

  • Taking water from a water resource.
  • Storing water.
  • Impeding or diverting the flow of water in a watercourse.
  • Engaging in a stream flow reduction activity.
  • Engaging in a controlled activity.
  • Discharging waste or water containing waste into a water resource through a pipe, canal, sewer, sea outfall or other conduit.
  • Disposing of waste in a manner which may detrimentally impact on a water resource.
  • Disposing in any manner of water which contains waste from, or which has been heated in, any industrial or power generation process.
  • Altering the bed, banks, course or characteristics of a watercourse.
  • Removing, discharging or disposing of water found underground if it is necessary for the efficient continuation of an activity, or for the safety of people.
  • Using water for recreational purposes.

Permit length is activity dependant and is determined by the administrative authority when the permit is granted and is provided for in the water use license.

 

The main aim of the Water Resource Authority (WRA) is to prevent or manage pollution, protect the environment and guard our water resources for future generations. If an activity causes, has caused or is likely to cause pollution of a water resource, an owner of the relevant land, a person in control of the land or a person who occupies or uses the land must take all reasonable measures to prevent the pollution from occurring, continuing or recurring. Measures include:

  • Ceasing, modifying or controlling the offending activity.
  • Complying with any prescribed waste standard or management practice.
  • Inhibiting movement of pollutants.
  • Eliminating sources of pollution.
  • Remedying the effects of both the pollution and/or any disturbance to the bed and banks of a watercourse.

Directives/instructions can be issued requiring compliance with specified steps/measures (WRA).

Compensation

The owner, occupier or person in control of land must remedy the effects of pollution and/or any disturbance to the bed or banks of a watercourse. The relevant regulator can issue directives and recover expenses incurred jointly and severally from:

  • The offending parties.
  • Any person who directly or indirectly contributed to or was responsible for the pollution.
  • A person who negligently failed to prevent the pollution.

Penalties

If a person commits and is found guilty of an offence under Water Act 2016, the offender is liable to a fine and/or imprisonment. The court can also grant an award for damages against the convicted offender to compensate another who has suffered harm, loss or damage.

What is the regulatory system for air pollution?

The Environment Management and Coordination (air quality) regulations, 2014 provide for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution to ensure clean and healthy ambient air. It provides for the establishment of emission standards for various sources such as mobile sources (e.g. motor vehicles) and stationary sources (e.g. industries) as outlined in the Environmental Management and Coordination Act, 1999. It also covers any other air pollution source as may be determined by the Minister in consultation with the Authority (NEMA). Emission limits for various areas and facilities have been set. The regulations provide the procedure for designating controlled areas, and the objectives of air quality management plans for these areas.

Air Quality Management of a particular county may, publish a list of activities that result in atmospheric emission which they reasonably believe may have a significant detrimental effect on the environment. National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) provides for minimum emission standards for some of the following categories: Combustion Installations; Treatment of Hazardous and General Waste; Pulp and Paper Manufacturing Activities, including By-Products Recovery; Animal Matter Processing e.t.c.  Anyone who undertakes any of the listed activities under these categories, or any other list applicable to a particular county, must obtain an atmospheric emissions license (AEL). In most cases, the AEL process is conducted in conjunction with the environmental impact assessment (EIA) process. Therefore, an applicant must apply for both an AEL and environmental authorization under NEMA.  

 

Permit length is activity dependant and is determined by the administrative authority when the permit is granted and is provided for in the AEL.

Prohibited activities

The air quality regulations (AQR), 2014 sets the minimum emission standards for various activities. A listed activity in the AQR, 2014 cannot be conducted without a license. The Air Quality Regulations Act sets out the consequences of unlawful conduct of a listed activity that result in atmospheric emissions. It also provides for cases where one conducts activities resulting in atmospheric emissions without authorization under NEMA. Omissions in relation to the air quality regulations can be considered an offence, for instance:

  • Failing to comply with air quality regulations 2014, by conducting listed activities without a license.
  • Manufacturing, selling or using any appliance, or conducting an activity declared as a controller emitter, without having complied with the standards established.
  • Manufacturing, selling or using a controlled fuel without having complied with the standards established.
  • Failure of an occupier of any premises to take reasonable steps to prevent any offensive odor caused by an activity conducted on the premises.
  • Failure to submit/implement a pollution prevention plan or atmospheric impact report .
  • Where a person conducting a listed activity emits air pollutants above the emission limits specified

Compensation

All persons have a general duty to prevent pollution or degradation of the environment, or at the very least to minimize the impact and rectify it where possible. The authority is required to issue directives or take measures it sees fit, and recover costs incurred from the parties involved. Offending parties can be required to clean up and provide compensation for their role in damaging the environment.

Penalties

A person found guilty of an offence is fined and/or imprisoned. In setting a fine, the relevant court considers:

  • The severity of the offence and the impact on the environment.
  • Any monetary or other benefits the offender received as a result of the contravention.

The extent of the offender’s overall contribution to the pollution of the area under normal working conditions.

Are there any national targets or legal requirements for reducing greenhouse emissions, increasing the use of renewable energy (such as wind power) and increasing energy efficiency?

Kenya made a commitment to lower its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 30% below expected levels by 2030. This target may not be reached without financial and technological support by developed countries, and it has been argued that the Kenyan socio-economic context takes priority over its other commitments. Despite challenges, Kenya acknowledges that is it a major contributor to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Article 12 of the Kyoto protocol provides for the clean development mechanism (CDM), which enables developed countries to earn certified emission reduction credits if they invest in projects to reduce GHG emissions in developing countries.

 

Climate change action in Kenya is guided by the Climate Change Act, (Number 11 of 2016), which provides a framework for mainstreaming climate change across sectors. The Act obligates the Cabinet Secretary responsible for climate change affairs to formulate a five-year National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) that addresses all sectors of the economy and provides mechanisms for mainstreaming climate change into all sectors and the County Integrated Development Plans (CIDPs).

 

The Paris Agreement, ratified by 195 signatory states, is an international collective arrangement to keep the increase in global average temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius, and aims to limit temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Although the agreement does not impose any legal obligations, it calls on signatory states to submit their national determined contribution (NDC) for review every five years. The intention is that each subsequent NDC is more ambitious than the previous one. Kenya’s total GHG emissions in 2013 were 60.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e), totaling 0.13% of global GHG emissions. The agriculture sector emitted 62.8% of total emissions, followed by the energy sector (31.2%), industrial processes sector (4.6%), and waste sector (1.4%).

 

However, the Second National Communication (SNC) mitigation analysis shows that Kenya has the potential to reduce projected emissions by 60%. While there is a legally binding climate mitigation legislation in place (Climate Change Act, 2016), the legislation does not contain quantitative emissions reductions targets. Subsequently, most line-ministries have also not developed long-term planning or back-casting exercises with quantitative emissions reduction targets.

 

The following GHGs are considered to be priority pollutants:

  • Carbon dioxide.
  • Methane.
  • Nitrous oxide.
  • Hydro fluorocarbons.
  • Per fluorocarbons.
  • Hexafluoride.

Kenya is already implementing adaptation and mitigation actions recommended in the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP). The priority mitigation activities being promoted and implemented cover all the six Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) sectors (Agriculture, Energy, Forestry, Industry, Transport and Waste Sectors), include:

  • Expansion in geothermal, solar and wind energy production, other renewable and clean energy options.
  • Enhancement of energy and resource efficiency across the different sectors.
  • Progressing towards achieving and maintaining a tree cover of at least 10% of the country’s land area.
  • Clean energy technologies to reduce overreliance on wood fuels.
  • Low carbon and efficient transportation systems.
  • Climate smart agriculture (CSA) in line with the newly launched National CSA Framework.

Sustainable waste management systems.

Is there a national strategy on climate change, renewable energy?

In 2017, Kenya’s primary energy consumption was 23.8 million tonnes of oil equivalent, with the residential sector consuming by far the most energy, at 77% of final consumption, followed by transport with 14% and industry at 7%. The commercial and public sectors consume 1% with agriculture and forestry at less than 1%. Transport and commercial and public are the fastest growing sectors. The three main electricity generation sources in Kenya are hydro, geothermal and thermal, together making up 98% of electricity sent to the national grid under normal hydrological conditions. Kenya, energy is mainly consumed in the manufacturing, commercial, transport, residential, power generation, and some street lighting sectors.

 

Kenya’s Draft National Energy and Petroleum Policy (2015)aims to ensure an affordable, competitive, sustainable, and reliable supply of energy to meet national development needs at the lowest cost, while protecting and conserving the environment(MEP, 2015). Kenya’s Climate Change Act emphasizes the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and encourage the use of renewable energy as a mitigation measure. Kenya has developed and launched the Green Economy Strategy and Implementation Plan (GESIP 2016-2030) in place of a Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS) document. The document provides the overall policy framework to facilitate a transition to a green economy and outlines the need to mainstream and align green economy initiatives across the economic, social and environmental spheres. It provides a blueprint for enhancing low-carbon, resource efficient, equitable and inclusive socio-economic transformation. Furthermore, it focuses on binding social economic constraints towards attaining Kenya Vision 2030 and is aligned with the outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). The legislative framework seeks to increase the use of alternative energy sources to meet Kenya’s energy needs, such as:

  • Nuclear.
  • Coal.
  • Wind power.
  • Solar photovoltaic.
  • Concentrated solar.
  • Other generation sources.

Is Kenya party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) and/or the Kyoto Protocol? How have the requirements under those international agreements been implemented?

Kenya signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on 12 June 1992, and ratified it on 30 August 1994. It also ratified Kyoto Protocol on 25 February 2005 which entered into force on 26 May 2005. As a Party to the Convention, Kenya has implemented initiatives to meet its obligations and commitments, including the development of its First National Communication (FNC) that was prepared in 2002 with support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

 

Kenya’s 2010 National Climate Change Response Strategy (NCCRS) recognized the impact of climate change on Kenya’s development. The National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) 2013-2017, launched in 2013, was a logical follow up to the NCCRS. Additionally, Kenya has prepared a draft National Adaptation Plan (NAP).

What, if any, emissions/carbon trading schemes operate in Kenya

Carbon credit schemes in Kenya fall under two categories: those under the compliance market primarily the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and those under the Voluntary carbon market.

  1. Clean Development Mechanism Projects

Under Article 12 of the Kyoto Protocol, a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) allows industrialized countries to meet part of their emission reduction targets by investing in emission reduction projects in developing countries. Through CDM projects, the investing entity earns Certified Emission Reduction (CER) credits while stimulating sustainable development in the host country. CDM projects are registered with a CDM registry, a standardized electronic database that ensures accurate accounting of the issuance, holding, and acquisition of CERs.

There are currently nineteen registered CDM projects in Kenya. These range from geothermal, wind, hydro and biogas power projects, bio residue briquettes, and small-scale afforestation and reforestation programs. Kenya’s first CDM project was registered in 2008. Mumias Sugar Company Limited, with the support of Japan Carbon Finance Limited, developed a 35 Megawatt (MW) sugarcane bagasse-based co-generation power plant as the country’s first CDM project. Over $2.1 billion has been invested in these projects, which are estimated to produce cumulative emissions savings in excess of 135 million tCO2e.

  1. Voluntary Carbon Credit Schemes

Under the voluntary carbon market, an entity can either be a company, an individual, or another “emitter.” Motivated by a desire to reduce their emissions, these entities volunteer to purchase carbon credits generated through carbon projects. The majority of the voluntary carbon projects in Kenya are in the forestry sector. Currently, there are nine forestry sector voluntary projects that include the Kasigau Corridor REDD Project Phases I (Rukinga Sanctuary) and II (the Community Ranches); the International Small Group & Tree Planting Programme (TIST); Aberdare Range/Mt. Kenya Small Scale Reforestation Initiative; the Forest Again Kakamega Forest; Mikoko Pamoja Mangrove Restoration; the Enoosupukia Forest Trust Project; Treeflights Kenya Planting Project; the Chyulu Hills REDD+ Carbon Credit Program; and the Mbirikani Carbon, Community and Biodiversity Project. These projects are at various stages of development. The Kasigau Corridor REDD+ project “protects about 500,000 acres of dryland forest and is the first REDD+ project in the world to achieve Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) validation and verification with issued credits in February 2011 and was awarded Gold Level status by the Climate, Community, and Biodiversity Standard (CCB) for exceptional regional benefits.” The Rukinga, Chyulu Hills, and Mbirikani REDD+ projects are currently merging to form the largest forest carbon project in the world. To safeguard community rights and interests, the projects utilize certification standards, primarily the CCB and the VCS. These certification schemes ensure that projects “simultaneously address climate change, support local communities and smallholders, and conserve biodiversity.”

The Kasigau Corridor REDD Project was the first to be issued Voluntary Emission Reductions (VERs) under both the VCS and the CCB standards. Kenya is also in the process of developing its national policy to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and to foster the conservation and sustainable management of forests, as well as enhancing its forest carbon stocks program (REDD+).57 In this effort, Kenya is participating in the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (which is hosted by the World Bank) and is also an observer, receiving targeted support from the UNREDD program. REDD+ is aimed at reducing emissions from deforestation activities and conserving the environment while also empowering the lives of community members living in the forest. For example, Kenya’s Readiness Preparation Proposal for REDD+ envisions strong community participation in national efforts to reduce deforestation that includes monitoring, reporting, and verification activities.

What is Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a critical examination of the effects of a project on the environment. Any proponent of a project should conduct an EIA and prepare a report and submit to NEMA. The EIA must be done by a registered and licensed EIA/EA expert by NEMA. The EIA must be conducted before the commencement of the project. 

Purpose

The goal of an EIA is to ensure that decisions on proposed projects and activities are environmentally sustainable. It guides policy makers, planners, stakeholders and government agencies to make environmentally and economically sustainable decisions. It is therefore a legal requirement to carry out an EIA before commencement of the project. The EIA process requires that a proponent shall seek views of persons who may be affected by the project. The proponent shall be issued with an EIA license before commencement of the project.

Environmental Audit (EA)

Environmental Audit (EA) is the systematic documentation, periodic and objective evaluation of activities and processes of an ongoing project. . The purpose of EA is to determine the extent to which the activities and programs conform to the approved environmental management plan. An initial environmental audit and a control audit are conducted by a qualified and authorized environmental auditor or environmental inspector who is an expert or a firm of experts registered by NEMA. In the case of an ongoing project NEMA requires the proponent to undertake an initial environmental audit study to provide baseline information upon which subsequent environmental audits shall be based. The proponent shall be issued with an acknowledgement letter and an improvement order where necessary.

Are there any requirements to carry out environmental impact assessments (EIAs) for certain types of projects?

Kenya has a comprehensive environmental impact assessment regime, governed by NEMA and its regulations. Before an environmental authorisation is granted, activities listed under NEMA require either a:

  • Basic assessment. A basic assessment report sets out environmental outcomes, impacts and residual risks of a proposed listed activity.
  • Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations.
  • A longer process involving an environmental impact report (EIR) and a scoping report. The purpose of a scoping report is to engage in a consultative process.  which requires:
    • identification of applicable policy and legislation, and a motivation for the proposed activity and its location;
    • considering alternatives through an impact and risk assessment and ranking process;
    • engaging in a detailed site selection process, taking into account the cumulative impacts on the preferred site;
    • identifying key issues in the assessment phase;
    • agreeing on the level of assessment to be undertaken and the methodology to be applied;
    • determining the expertise required and the extent of further consultation processes and identifying measures to avoid, manage or mitigate impacts; and
    • determining residual risks to be closely monitored.

The EIA process is undertaken in line with the approved plan of study for EIAs. It sets out the environmental impacts, mitigation and closure outcomes, and the residual risks associated with the proposed activity.  The nature of the activity to be undertaken and the impacts on the environment (including, specifically, the extent to which they are known impacts) affects whether or not a basic assessment process or EIA process must be followed.

What is the regulatory system for air pollution?

The Environment Management and Coordination (air quality) regulations, 2014 provide for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution to ensure clean and healthy ambient air. It provides for the establishment of emission standards for various sources such as mobile sources (e.g. motor vehicles) and stationary sources (e.g. industries) as outlined in the Environmental Management and Coordination Act, 1999. It also covers any other air pollution source as may be determined by the Minister in consultation with the Authority (NEMA). Emission limits for various areas and facilities have been set. The regulations provide the procedure for designating controlled areas, and the objectives of air quality management plans for these areas.

Air Quality Management of a particular county may, publish a list of activities that result in atmospheric emission which they reasonably believe may have a significant detrimental effect on the environment. National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) provides for minimum emission standards for some of the following categories: Combustion Installations; Treatment of Hazardous and General Waste; Pulp and Paper Manufacturing Activities, including By-Products Recovery; Animal Matter Processing e.t.c.  Anyone who undertakes any of the listed activities under these categories, or any other list applicable to a particular county, must obtain an atmospheric emissions license (AEL). In most cases, the AEL process is conducted in conjunction with the environmental impact assessment (EIA) process. Therefore, an applicant must apply for both an AEL and environmental authorization under NEMA.  

 

Permit length is activity dependant and is determined by the administrative authority when the permit is granted and is provided for in the AEL.